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Marketing: What Is the Purpose of Your Brochure?

Marketers often order a brochure without a clear idea of what purpose the brochure should serve. They just think a brochure is a good idea. “Oh, we need them to, you know, like, put in the envelope along with a letter, or, um, for our salespeople to keep in the trunks of their cars.”

Many brochure designs foolishly waste money because they don’t accomplish any specific marketing goals; they just look pretty, at best. To avoid producing a pretty-but-pointless brochure that doesn’t achieve a sales goal, know the answers to the following questions (which focus your brochure design and make it useful to your marketing):

  • Who will read the brochure?

  • How will they get the brochure?

  • What should they do after reading the brochure?

Without a specific focus, your brochure can’t be properly suited to any single use. It becomes a boring piece that talks generally about your company or product but doesn’t hit readers over the head with any particular appeal or call to action.

A good general rule is to define up to three specific purposes for the brochure. Don’t go past three, though, because your design can’t accomplish more than three purposes effectively. The most common and appropriate purposes for a brochure are to

  • Act as a reference on the product, or technical details of the product, for prospects.

  • Support a personal selling effort by lending credibility and helping overcome objections.

  • Generate leads through a direct-mail campaign.

Say you want to design a brochure that does all three of these tasks well. Start by designing the contents. What product and technical information must be included? Write the information down or collect necessary illustrations so you have the fact base (the essential information to communicate) in front of you.

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